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A tale of two dairy farmers. Mike Kiechle, Philadelphia, says expanding his herd is too much of a risk. Photo: David Sommerstein
A tale of two dairy farmers. Mike Kiechle, Philadelphia, says expanding his herd is too much of a risk. Photo: David Sommerstein

Will the Greek yogurt boom help dairy farmers?

You might have been surprised last summer to hear politicians walking around and talking about--yogurt. Governor Andrew Cuomo held a Yogurt Summit at the Capitol in Albany, where he said the explosion of the Greek yogurt industry in New York is a once-in-a-generation moment. "This is one of the best private sector market opportunities that Upstate New York has had in 30, 40 years," procliamed Cuomo. "I don't know when we get another one. I really, really don't. And that entrepreneurial spirit is when you see an opportunity, grab it."

New York has invested millions of dollars in tax breaks into new and expanding yogurt plants. Cuomo wants to ease environmental rules to encourage 200 cow dairy farms to become 300 cow dairy farms and make more milk.

Experts say New York farmers will have to boost milk production by 15 percent, or two billion pounds each year, to keep up with demand.

So does New York have a milk shortage? And are farmers stepping up it fill it?

The answers lie in cream cheese, Old McDonald, and something called the Chobani Paradox.  Go to full article
Photo: Courtesy of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.

Why some North Country parents want kids to boycott state tests

Students in grades three through eight across New York sat down Tuesday for the first of six days of state standardized tests in English and math. But not every student showed up to take the tests.

The parents of some children who oppose the state's increased use of standardized testing are refusing to let their kids take the assessments. The boycott is also tied to tougher education standards the state is implementing this year.  Go to full article
NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Photo: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SpeakerSilver.jpg">NYer42</a>, public domain

Cuomo, Assembly Dems roll out reform ideas

At the New York State Capitol, lawmakers are scrambling to put forward plans responding to the recent twin corruption scandals involving bribery charges against a state Senator and Assemblyman.

Tuesday it was the Assembly Democrats' turn to weigh in, while Gov. Andrew Cuomo rolled out two more components of his own reform plan.  Go to full article
Tim Savage conducts the St. Lawrence University Wind Ensemble during a recent rehearsal.  The spring concert is Monday, April 22nd at 8 pm in Peterson-Kermani Performance Hall. It's free and open to all.  Photo:  Todd Moe

SLU Wind Ensemble bands together campus and community

The North Country has a rich history of outstanding community bands. And the number of local concert bands has increased in just the last few years. Some are year-round...  Go to full article